Does your home have an underground heating oil tank? How can you find out?

The only way to know for sure if a tank is still buried is to have an oil tank search performed. That said, there are a few things you can on your own to see if a tank is even likely. This involves looking for evidence of a previous or existing tank, and looking for records related to oil tanks.

The first thing you want to think about is the age of the home. Homes build after 1980 will almost never have an oil tank. But any home might have a tank if it were built in the 70ss or before. This is also true if the neighborhood itself was already there prior to the 1970’s.

If you live in Oregon then you can check the Oregon DEQ’s records related to oil tank decommissioning. (Below) Washington doesn’t have a publicly searchable database of the like.

Next you can look around your property for any of the signs of a heating oil tank (Below), if you find any of these signs then it is likely there is an underground tank. remember though, finding nothing is not proof that there isn’t a tank.

Tank Locate Service – Book Online or Call 503-939-9585 to Schedule

If you want to know if there is an oil tank on your property in Oregon, check the following resources. If you live in Vancouver or elsewhere in Washington, you can look for signs of heating oil use or schedule a tank locate but there are no public databases.

Sometimes two or even three underground storage tanks can be present on the same property. Records, if present at all, may only show information about work done on one tank. It’s in your best interests to get a tank locate if you don’t have a record of one.

Record Search

DEQ LUST -Check to see if contaminated soil samples have been received by the Oregon DEQ by searching for the address on the Leaking Underground Storage Tank list. If the file type is CLOSED, then the tank is certified as decommissioned. If the type is OPEN or UNASSIGNED, the tank is not certified.

DEQ LIST Check to see if a voluntary certification for decommissioning exists for a tank which did not leak. This is a downloadable file for the List of Intact Storage Tanks. Search for the house number with the Find function (Ctrl +F on Windows & Linux – Command + F on Mac)

If the Oregon DEQ has certified the decommissioning of an oil tank, it will be listed on one of the above data sets. Search for your address, then click on the ‘permits’ button. Scroll down to see if there are any permits forUnderground Storage Tanks’ and make sure they are not nearby addresses. These permits will only exist for homes in close-in Portland, as seen in the image below.

underground storage tank permit zone

You can also look through the home yourself to try and identify any signs of heating oil use in the past.

Because second tanks occur in maybe 1% of homes with oil heat. You should consider getting an oil tank locate if you don’t have a record of one.

Tank Locate

The oil tank sweep involves a search through the above listed public records and may include searching though historic imagery and neighborhood trends. The on-site investigation searches for signs of oil oil plumbing (as seen in the signs of oil page) then uses a variety of metal detectors and magnetometers. We have some special tools that we can use when called for. These can help find what something is when there is a something.

What do we find? Metal cesspools, septic tanks, home gasoline tanks, second underground oil tanks, buried barbecue grills, and much more! We will investigate any large metallic underground objects and note them in the official letter of our findings.